Amazon’s efforts at their first ever tablet have been a resounding yes. The Kindle Fire 7 inch color touch screen tablet released for presale reservations in September of last year helped Amazon sell 1 million Kindle devices each week in December, and itself was a huge sales success in 2011. In quarter four of last year the Kindle Fire tablet sold approximately 5.5 million units, according to Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente. And the further you dig statistically, the more impressive the numbers are surrounding the sales and popularity of this first ever Amazon tablet. But what is probably the most telling of all statistical figures is the set of numbers which do not exist.
Buy the Kindle Fire for $199.
With all the success that Amazon has enjoyed with the Kindle Fire tablet, the device was only offered in the United States. Grabbing 14% of the tablet marketplace without any sales figures from Europe, Asia and other tech-hungry areas besides the US is impressive indeed. But recently, rumors have been flying around the blogosphere that the Amazon Kindle Fire would be made available internationally. And backing up those rumors is the recent but cryptic comment made by Amazon VP Anthony Bay at this year’s Marche International des Programmes de Television entertainment gathering in France. Bay was the keynote speaker there, and when asked about a possible European release of the wildly popular 7 inch Amazon tablet, he responded with a smile and the words, “Stay Tuned.”
You may recall this was the same exact response that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos gave to a reporter’s questions in mid-2011 concerning the possible release of a tablet by Amazon. As tight-lipped as Amazon is concerning sales figures and upcoming launches, and considering the arrival of the Amazon tablet after Bezos’ comment, the fact that Anthony Bay chose the exact same words to respond to the question regarding an international release virtually guarantees the Amazon Kindle Fire will be seen on brick-and-mortar and virtual retail shelves globally in the near future.
Aside from drastically dropping the entry-level tablet price to $199, anywhere from $200 to $350 lower than was what previously considered an entry-level price for a decent Tablet PC, the Kindle Fire was a bit of a gamble. The 7 inch screen size was far and away the least popular and least common up to the release of the Kindle Fire, and the tablet has no microSD slot for storage. However, the Kindle Fire delivers free Cloud Storage for all Amazon content. Tech insiders noted that the Kindle Fire costs more to produce that Amazon sells it for, but that loss leading feature is more than made up for by the massive library of digital content which Amazon has integrated for easy access into the Kindle Fire. Kindle Fire owners also get 30 days free Amazon Prime Membership, allowing for free video streaming to their Kindle Fire. Buy the Kindle Fire for $199.